Four hours until our family of five is all together again. For the past week we have been scattered across two provinces: Luke and Olivia with my parents in Saskatchewan, Madeline at church camp, and Marc and I at home by ourselves. There have been lots of comments about nude housekeeping. (You wouldn’t believe all of the comments about nude housekeeping!)
We had the same opportunity last summer. Except last summer we had a certain number of to-dos: pack the trailer (since we were moving two weeks later), pick out furniture (since we only had one couch at that point and that couch was staying with the trailer), get together for many “one last” visits with friends.
This year there was nothing on the agenda, besides a few evenings filled up with church things and a determination to get away for one night in Edmonton. Even if we didn’t FEEL like making the effort of picking out a hotel and going to Edmonton and staying over night, we were GOING to, because we COULD.
“Because we can” was kind of the theme of the week, and it had to be balanced out with “because we want to.”
You see, we are tired these days. I don’t know why. We can’t seem to figure it out. But we’re tired. And, though, Marc had to work this week, I didn’t have too much on the agenda and I did a lot of relaxing. A lot of browsing pinterest for great pins on grief and dying and counselling. A lot of wandering the house trying to decide which part of the house I felt like cleaning. Some naps. Some colouring. A bit of reading. But not much of anything because I was so dang tired.
In the end, we did muster up the energy to go to Edmonton. We went to the Art Gallery of Alberta to see two exhibits we really wanted to see. We had some nice meals out. We had the hotel pool to ourselves. We got upgraded to a suite that was essentially just one big room with two tvs next each other on the wall (which were instantly set to Sister Wives and the end of the Rider game). We had a long walk by the river and did a little bit of shopping.
Which takes us to Monday night… with five more days to go…
I’ll admit, I felt a bit lost and rather grumpy the next day. Marc said that that was understandable since we had just spent a day and a half where we could do whatever we liked, but not every day can be like that. He went to work. I started at the messy (the always messy) house and remained in my funk. As the day went on I began to tell myself that days don’t have to be perfect to be good. That you don’t have to be perfectly content for it to be a good day. Good days don’t always consist of doing everything you want — or doing nothing. There are good days to be had even when there’s work to be done.
I was out of my funk by the end of the day. Or at least I fell asleep and woke up out of the funk.
Wednesday I had a meeting with the two ladies who I am going to be co-facilitating a bereavement support group in the fall. It was a great meeting. I left there feeling excited about this great opportunity. I also left there and banged into the door as I exited the building, causing Marc to burst out laughing as he watched from the vehicle. We went for a great lunch at a great restaurant with a great gift certificate… because we wanted to. Not just because we could. Wednesday evening we had a fun bbq with the church.
Which brings us to yesterday, which saw us on the road by 7:45am for a pastors breakfast, to which I tagged along and had breakfast with one of the other pastors wives. It was great. And I was officially exhausted by the time we got home after lunch. Cue a long nap and guilt-free afternoon spent in bed. (I tell you, pinterest is the place for so many things. I want to be friends with one of the ladies on there not just because of the great counselling content she has on her boards but because of the impeccable manner in which her boards are organized!)
But last night… last night was the last night before the kids are home. Big pressure. This is our last night to be able to do whatever we want. But we can’t just do whatever we want because that might be what we can do when the kids are home! We need to do something we can’t do when the kids are home. A movie! I love movies! Why can’t there be any good movies showing?! The next time we go to a movie it’s going to cost us $40 in babysitting just to see a movie! Why, oh why can’t there be any good movies showing this week?!
You know how when you go to a restaurant you order what you can’t have at home, even if it’s not necessarily what you really want to eat? (Oh, am I the only one who does that all the time?!) Well, last night felt like that. We did go out for supper in Camrose. We did wander the town looking for a place to have dessert. But we were just too tired to do anything else — even walk along the nice path by the pond…
We came home and watched a movie and went to bed. Even though we can do that when our kids are home. “What we had the energy for” won out over “what we can’t do when the kids are home.” And that’s okay. It was a good week. And it was nice to have a quiet house. But it will be just as nice to have a noisy house. It was nice to have freedom. But it will be just as nice to have our kids home. Very nice, actually.